A £32 Million Cash Injection Announced for Southend Airport

Cash Injection
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Esken, the owner of Southend Airport, has announced a £32 million cash injection as part of a significant refinancing deal aimed at facilitating new routes and accelerating growth at the airport.

The move comes amidst a dispute over the repayment of a £125 million loan, leading to legal action from US asset management firm, the Carlyle Group. Carlyle has argued that Esken, which put the airport up for sale in June 2023, is unable to support the airport’s recovery, while affirming its commitment to its future.

However, a potential resolution appears to be on the horizon as Esken disclosed negotiations with Carlyle regarding a recapitalization proposal. This proposal could see Esken relinquishing a significant portion of its stake in Southend Airport, transitioning to a minority ownership role, and serving as a solution to the ongoing dispute.

Esken has until March 4 to determine its acceptance of the proposed solution. However, should the deal proceed, it would entail the release of £32 million in new funding aimed at ensuring the airport’s future growth.

This development coincides with the revelation from airport officials that passenger numbers have experienced a twofold increase year-on-year, while the current offering of 12 routes has garnered significant success.

John Upton, CEO of Southend Airport, expressed enthusiasm over the news, emphasizing its positive implications for all stakeholders involved. He highlighted that the commitment to the airport’s future brings about certainty and stability, allowing for the acceleration of growth plans through the investment capability and operational expertise provided.

Mr. Upton further stated, “With a rapidly expanding population of nearly eight million within an hour’s reach and given the capacity constraints facing other London airports, we are strategically positioned to cater to airlines seeking to expand their presence in the London market.

“We are already witnessing a doubling of our passenger volumes year-on-year as we introduce new destinations with partners such as easyJet, Aeroitalia, and others. Following this transaction, we anticipate accelerating the momentum of our growth.

“As our operations expand, an increasing number of passengers are availing themselves of our convenient and swift train services to and from London.”

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